Cowboys fall just short of title berth
BY ERIC BAILEY World Sports Writer
Monday, December 05, 2011
12/05/11 at 8:13 AM
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Oklahoma State didn't draw its dream destination on Sunday night.
The Cowboys will make their first appearance in a Bowl Championship Series game when they face Stanford on Jan. 2 in the Fiesta Bowl.
But OSU, the Big 12 Conference champion, was craving a national title matchup against top-ranked LSU.
Alabama - by a razor-thin margin - finished second ahead of OSU in the BCS standings for the right to take on the unbeaten Tigers. The Southeastern Conference schools will meet for the second time this season in the Jan. 9 BCS Championship game at the Louisiana Superdome in New Orleans.
"I'm very proud of our team," OSU coach Mike Gundy said. "We were disappointed.
"If I were just a fan, I would be pretty intrigued with (an LSU-OSU) matchup."
OSU will face Stanford in the Jan. 2 game at the University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Ariz. Kickoff is at 7:30 p.m.
Oklahoma and Tulsa also learned their bowl destinations on Sunday.
OU coach Bob Stoops will face his alma mater when the Sooners (9-3) play Iowa in the Insight Bowl in Tempe, Ariz. The game will be on Friday, Dec. 30 with a 9 p.m. kickoff.
Tulsa will meet BYU in the Armed Forces Bowl earlier on Dec. 30. The contest, played in SMU's Ford Stadium in Dallas, starts at 11 a.m.
It was a tense Sunday for OSU fans as they waited for the USA Today Coaches Poll and Harris Poll numbers to spew out the final BCS numbers.
Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops, whose team was dumped 44-10 at OSU on Saturday, plotted the Cowboys No. 2 on his ballot.
Stoops - like some fans across the college football world - didn't agree with Alabama finishing second and OSU third.
"I don't think it's right," Stoops said. "I voted (OSU) second so I thought they were the second-best team in the nation."
The Crimson Tide finished with a BCS score of .9429. OSU ended with .9333 points. The .0086 difference between Alabama and Oklahoma State is the smallest margin between the No. 2 and No. 3 spots in the final standings since 2004.
"It goes without saying that No. 3 Oklahoma State made a real run at the top this weekend," said Bill Hancock, executive director of the BCS. "This year the difference between No. 2 and No. 3 was the closest ever under our existing rankings formula. That's a real tribute to Mike Gundy and the Cowboys."
Oklahoma will play in a non-BCS bowl game for only the third time in 10 years.
The Sooners will try to use the bowl game to get better, Stoops said.
"It'll be important. We have a lot to get straight. We have a lot to correct," said Stoops, who was a defensive back for the Hawkeyes between 1979-82. "I don't know if just the bowl practices can get it done, but we're gonna try. We're always excited to get with our players and our team, and we'll see how they respond later in the week."
Iowa is the defending Insight Bowl champion and has won three consecutive bowl games.
The Golden Hurricane met BYU as recently as 2007, when Tulsa claimed a 55-47 home victory.
BYU (9-3) has won eight of its past nine games, with its only loss coming to TCU.
"The fact that BYU and Tulsa used to be in the same conference, the Western Athletic Conference, we certainly are no strangers to BYU and vice versa," TU coach Bill Blankenship said. "We played a very exciting game at home in 2007 with an offensive shootout that a lot of people still talk about. I think BYU is certainly an opponent that people will get excited about with what can happen on the field between these two teams."
Armed Forces Bowl
Tulsa vs. BYU
11 a.m. Dec. 30
Gerald J. Ford Stadium, Dallas
Oklahoma vs. Iowa
9 p.m. Dec. 30
Sun Devil Stadium, Tempe, Ariz.
Oklahoma State vs. Stanford
7:30 p.m. Jan. 2
University of Phoenix Stadium,Glendale, Ariz.
1. LSU 1.000
2. Alabama .9419
3. Oklahoma State .9333
4. Stanford .8476
14. Oklahoma .4603
World sports writers Bill Haisten, John E. Hoover and Jimmie Tramel contributed to this story.
Original Print Headline: Cowboys fall short of title berth
Eric Bailey 918-581-8391
Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy speaks with the media after watching the BCS selections on Sunday. The Cowboys finished third in the BCS standings and will play Stanford in the Fiesta Bowl. MIKE SIMONS / Tulsa World